Cuts both ways : women's experiences of cosmetic breast surgery

Thumbnail Image
Boulton, Tiffany
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2007
This research project examines the experiences of women who have undergone elective cosmetic breast surgery. Drawing from qualitative in-depth interviews with twenty four women, this study examines why these women were willing to undergo dangerous and invasive cosmetic surgery procedures to change the appearance of their breasts. It is argued that although the women exercised agency in their decision-making, their choices were severely constrained by a culture that rewards women for conforming to feminine beauty norms, and sanctions those who do not. The women’s experiences further reveal that their decisions often “cut both ways.” These women’s decisions “cut both ways,” because while the women acquired personal benefits, these came with significant physical and emotional costs. Finally, it “cuts both ways,” because while these women personally benefited, their decisions result in the reproduction of the current beauty system and uphold the unjust feminine beauty norms on which it is based.
viii, 228 leaves ; 29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Augmentation mammaplasty -- Social aspects , Breast -- Surgery -- Social aspects , Surgery, Plastic -- Social aspects , Body image in women -- Social aspects , Beauty, Personal -- Social aspects